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We all want to give our babies the best start in life, and eating right during pregnancy will do just that. The old myth of eating for two applies more to nutrients than quantity. The trick is knowing what you need, why you need it, and how to make every bite you eat really count.

Water Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking enough water during all the different stages listed below. Try to drink up to 4 pints per day of mineral water when possible. This will help keep your skin glowing and supple, energy levels high, and all the important bowels moving!

Nutrition for preconception

If you’re trying to get pregnant, there’s never a better time to eat right. Imagine planting a seed, you would want it to have the best soil in the world and you are the soil for your baby! If you can provide the best home for your new baby, the chances of conception will improve to no end. The most important nutrient during this time is folic acid; this is necessary for proper cell division and to prevent spina bifida. Along with that, you need good supplies of vitamin C, E, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B3 and B6, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

Tips for the first trimester

This stage is crucial for the development of your baby and really the most important from a nutritional point of view. During the first trimester, your baby will have developed all of her major organs, as well as her fingernails, eyebrows, and of course her beating little heart. All of that is made from what you’ve eaten! Important nutrients are folic acids, B vitamins, as well as omega essential oils and zinc. Your body will also need a lot of iron as your blood volume increases and the placenta forms.

If you feel sick during this stage, make sure you take enough vitamin B6, this can really help alleviate the illness. Drinking enough water, exercising regularly, and eating small, frequent meals will also help!

Tips for the second trimester

Your baby is already formed and what he needs now is to grow! This trimester is when the organs begin to mature and the bones and teeth begin to harden, needing calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. Along with these, vitamin A, C, E, Zinc and omega essential oils will continue to nourish the skin (stretch marks), baby and body.

Tips for the third trimester

This is the time when the baby begins to deposit fat reserves. Vitamin C is necessary for the gums, teeth, bones and blood vessels and, of course, calcium is also necessary for the bones. Can you believe your baby can hear you now! The baby’s brain is growing faster and faster, so omega essential oils are still crucial (in fact, they always are!).

Eat small regular meals during this time the last trimester. You don’t really fancy big meals since there’s no room, but regular, highly nutritious meals will help you feel energized, healthy, and not heavier than you already feel.

Taking some magnesium citrate is good for muscles to contract during labor and it’s worth keeping zinc high to help with all the healing that is needed after birth. Vitamin K is good for blood clotting and to prevent bleeding.

postnatal tips

Repair, the need for energy and, of course, breastfeeding are important reasons to continue eating well. If you’re breastfeeding, you still need nutrients for two and lots and lots of water. Vitamin A, C and E and zinc are particularly important for repairing damaged tissue, as is an amino acid called glutamine. Calcium, magnesium, iron and the B vitamins will have been depleted during labor, so getting them back in balance is very important and will help you feel better.

Small, frequent meals are often the way to go during this stage, as time is of the essence when there’s a new baby in the house. Ask visitors to bring a nutritious meal with them when they visit and ask them to wash up and maybe vacuum too!

Why zinc?

Zinc is an essential trace element and is very important during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Unfortunately, a large amount of zinc is lost during the refining of food, so a supplement will most likely be needed.

Zinc is necessary for the breakdown of carbohydrates. It is also involved in all areas of reproduction and has long been known as the most important trace mineral for any pregnant woman!

Zinc is necessary for fertility in both men and women. It is also necessary for the proper formation of elastin chains in the connective tissue so vital to tummy and breast growth! It helps the uterus to contract efficiently and the perineum to stretch.

Adequate levels of zinc are required for fetal growth, and zinc may help prevent preterm birth, toxemia, and postpartum depression. It is worth noting here that the positive maternal instinct may depend to some extent on good nutrition. If your body is out of spells, so will your mind and instinct.

If you are deficient when you breastfeed, then so will your baby! Babies with low zinc levels are more likely to fuss and cry, which won’t improve your mood if you’re struggling! That in itself makes a zinc supplement worthwhile.


Drinking water! You will lose about a pint of fluid per day, so you need to replace it! You need 2 liters per day minimum! Trust me, when you start feeding you will be grabbing water to drink. Always try to have cups or bottles spread around the house at your feeding points so you can drink all the time. It is vital to form milk and of course to give you energy. Keep some good books around the house at the feeding points too, as you will be feeding for a while at first!

In addition to water and zinc, make sure you are getting enough essential oils in your diet. These are still necessary for brain development and of course luscious skin.

Avoid empty calories and remember that whatever you eat, so does your baby! Avoid caffeine, alcohol, curries, and highly gassy foods like garlic, onion, and cabbage. Lots of brown rice and vegetables, oily fish (avoid shellfish), and whole foods are a great way to give your baby everything he needs.

Is a vegetarian diet okay?

Don’t worry here to get everything you need!

Iron stores can be maintained with plenty of green vegetables, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and dried fruits. Molasses, almonds, and parsley are great ways too!

As for vitamin D… walk outside every day!

If you’re vegan, you may need to get B12 from a supplement; Fortified soy milk or yeast extracts.

Nuts and seeds contain essential fats that both need.


carbs whole grains, eg rice! Potatoes, beans, legumes, cereals, oats, pasta, dark leafy vegetables, root vegetables, fresh fruit

Protein eggs, tofu, quinoa, tahini, bean sprouts, organic meat, cheese

essential fats Flaxseed (linseed) oil, hemp seeds, avocado, green leafy vegetables, soybeans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds (tahini), almonds, oily fish

Vitamin A carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, cress, mango, melon, cabbage, dried apricots

B vitamins green leafy vegetables, banana, avocado, walnuts, watercress, pumpkin, zucchini, cabbage, broccoli, fish (sardines, mackerel), mushrooms

Folic acid spinach, broccoli, peanuts, cabbages, asparagus, sesame seeds, wheat germ

Vitamin C broccoli, green peppers, parsley, oranges, watercress, kiwi, lemon

Vitamin E olive oil, pepper, tahini, nuts and seeds, avocado, sunflower seeds

vitamin K Brussels sprouts, kelp, blackstrap molasses, lentils, snap peas, cauliflower, kidney beans, snap peas

hill lecithin, sardines, anchovies, eggs, soybeans, peanuts

Chrome brewer’s yeast, whole wheat bread, rye bread

Iron tofu, beans and legumes, cabbage, watercress, plums and dates, dried apricots, molasses, pumpkin seeds, parsley, almonds

Magnesium Green leafy vegetables, soybeans, cashews, almonds, banana, prunes, broccoli, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, buckwheat flour, Brazil

Selenium molasses, herring

Zinc brown rice, lentils, pumpkin seeds, almonds, tofu, ginger root, walnuts, and split peas

Most importantly, be happy!

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